If high-end furniture inspired by surf culture seems farfetched, consider the source. David Saltman called on pals like Carl Ekstrom and Tim Bessell — both legendary surfers and shapers — to help him launch his new San Diego-based collection, Nomad Mobili, made from the same foam composites used for surfboards. But long before that, design was in Saltman's DNA.
Saltman's grandfather co-founded Brown-Saltman, the Southern California-based furniture manufacturer that turned out iconic — and still highly collectible — midcentury pieces.
Already an heir of good taste, Saltman studied film at UCLA before embarking on a sustainability-based career, from a stint as executive director of Surfrider to his current gig as CEO of San Diego's Malama Composites, which manufactures eco-friendly, bio-based materials. He's also a die-hard surfer.
Right now, the line features six hand-shaped indoor/outdoor prototypes, all built to withstand weather and wear. Nomad Mobili's core team of artists, which also includes shaper Ned McMahon and architect Jorge Engel, took advantage of foam core's flexibility to create the superbly biomorphic shapes. Unlike the rectilinear furniture that dominates the market. the curves make the pieces even stronger.
Though Nomad Mobili is still in preproduction mode, it has already garnered attention from the likes of America's Cup, which displayed the furniture in its press room in November. Saltman has big plans for green, composite-based design, from lighting fixtures to entire houses.
Now, if only it were summer and we could all lounge around outdoors!
More info: Nomad Mobili
Images: David Saltman